Former North York Ranger defenceman Patrick Piacentini, now with the Mercyhurst University Lakers, was named the AHA Defensive Player of the Week.
The Vaughan, Ontario native began his OJHL career as a member of his hometown Vipers in 2010-11, playing eight games for the club, while recording two assists. He made the full-time jump to junior hockey in 2011-12, playing 47 regular season games with the Vipers, while notching 2 goals and 19 points to finish second among defencemen in scoring. The rookie rearguard would first earn an invite to the 2011 CJHL Prospect Games held in Langley, B.C. as a member of Team East, who would fall to Team West 9-6 in the two game series. Then, during the Christmas holidays, Piacentini would suit-up as a member of Team South at the inaugural Central Canada Cup All-Star Challenge played in Smiths Falls, Ontario.
With the Vipers suspending operations duirng the off-season, Piacentini was quickly picked-up by the nearby North York Rangers and would anchor their d-corps for the next two years. He would take his game to the next level in North York, finishing second among all OJHL defenders with 42 assists and 49 points in 54 games played to be named a 2nd Team All-Star. He would also compete once again as a member of Team OJHL South at the 2012 Central Canada Cup All-Star Challenge that was held in Wellington, Ontario. The Rangers marched to the South-West Conference Championship Series before ultimately falling to the eventual champion St. Michael’s Buzzers.
Although taking a slight dip offensively in 2013-14, Piacentini once again was the backbone of the Rangers blueline, while also adding the captain’s ‘C’ to his chest. He finished sixth in scoring on the club with 37 points in 49 games played, also tied for 8th best among all OJHL blueliners. Piacentini finished his OJHL career as the Rangers once again fell in the post-season to the eventual OJHL champion; this time the Toronto Lakeshore Patriots.
Congratulations to Patrick on the award.
Below is the official press release from the Mercyhurst Lakers website (www.hurstathletics.com):
Three members of the Mercyhurst University men’s hockey team were honored with weekly awards by the Atlantic Hockey Conference as announced by the league office on Tuesday afternoon. Sophomore defenseman Zach Todd was named the Offensive Player of the Week, freshman forward Derek Barach was the Rookie of the Week, and sophomore defenseman Patrick Piacentini earned Defensive Player of the Week honors on Tuesday. They are the first career weekly honors for all three players.
Todd, a native of Holden, Massachusetts, led the Lakers with a goal and three assists as Mercyhurst opened up the 2015-16 regular season with a split against 20th-ranked Colgate at the Mercyhurst Ice Center. The blueliner had an assist during Saturday’s 5-2 loss but then scored a career-high three points on a goal and two helpers in Sunday’s 9-7 victory. His goal on Sunday was the first power play tally of his career. He also finished the weekend with six shots on goal and three blocked shots in the defensive zone.
In 24 games as a freshman a year ago, Todd scored one goal and four assists for five points.
Barach, who hails from Glenmont, New York, scored his first collegiate goal, and Mercyhurst’s first goal of the 2015-16 season, in Saturday’s setback. He then added the primary assist on sophomore Jonathan Charbonneau’s game-winning goal with 1:17 left in regulation on Sunday to give him a two-point weekend. He finished the weekend with an even plus/minus rating and attempted two shots on goal.
Barach was one of five rookies to score their first collegiate goals over the weekend. Sophomore Michael Verboom and freshmen Taylor Best, Wes Baker, and Josh Lammon also lit the lamp for the first time in their careers.
Piacentini, a native of Maple, Ontario, played an integral role in the defensive zone all weekend. While not factoring in the scoring, Piacentini blocked two shots on Saturday and then blocked a game-high four shots on Sunday to give him six total blocked shots over the weekend. He finished the weekend with an even plus/minus rating and also helped Mercyhurst kill off 5-of-6 Colgate power play chances during Sunday’s victory.